Fledgling 241-310

“Russell looked surprised by the Council’s conclusion. “You have no connection with Shori then?” he asked Daniel. “We are promised to one another,” Daniel said. “When this is over, when she’s older and physically mature, my brothers and I will mate with her.” He looked at me and smiled. I couldn’t help smiling back at him.”

Page 247

What drew me to this passage in particular was the way with which the opposite sexes of the Ina interact with each other.  We know that they have an almost irresistible attraction to one another, which is why they are separated by their sex most of the time, however, the part of this passage in particular that caught my attention was Shori’s reaction.  “I couldn’t help smiling back at him.” This caught my attention because there are a lot of moments in the story where Shori seems very human in personality, but this passage clearly illustrates a part of her Ina nature.  What’s more, it’s interesting to see the difference between the romantic and intimate interactions between Ina and Ina, and Ina and their human symbionts.

-Matthew Berns


9 thoughts on “Fledgling 241-310

  1. I also thought that this passage did a good job of differentiating between Shori’s Ina and human parts. I found the part about Shori and Daniel’s arranged marriage very interesting. Though arranged marriages seem like an old-fashioned idea, they are required in this society because as you stated, inas must be separated by sex. But, the aspect of Shori and Daniel’s arranged marriage is that Daniel says that Shori will mate with all his brothers. I believe this is in part due to the fact that Shori is such a unique and different Ina/human. Therefore, all the brothers want their offspring to benefit from her genetic modifications.


  2. What I found interesting about this passage was how Russell was attempting to use Daniel’s connection to Shori as an argument against them. I think this shows just how attached to their Ina females male Ina become. We know from the symbiont narratives how addicting Ina venom is, and from various comments throughout the novel we are explained that female venom is far more potent. The fact that Russell makes this claim gives the reader even more insight into this. Russell is ultimately attempting to make Daniel’s testimony insignificant by implying that if he had been connected to Shori, he would have behaved similar to a human symbiont – obedient and focused on pleasing the female Ina.



  3. I too found it very interesting how the Inas are separated because of the high physical attraction between each other. We see this in shori when she can’t help but smiling back at Daniel. Because shori has human qualities, Daniel and and her brothers find her unique therefore, dependent on her genes. I think this further reveals how much the Ina’s depend on humans, creating a symbiotic relationship. The Inas retrieve blood in which they need to survive and in return, the humans immune system strengthens.


  4. While I agree that in the ina-symbiont relationship there are benefits for both parties I would be hesitant to call it a a symbiotic relationship. In most symbiotic relationships a mutually beneficial association between 2 organisms is established, in which the organisms benefit from the presence of the other with minimal detriment for either party. In the case of the ina-symbiont relationship while the symbiont benefits from an increased lifespan and improved immune system there are significant detriments to being one, namely death in the event that you can’t get ina venom. The relationship seems more like the relationship between cattle and a farmer than a symbiotic relationship. The cattle are provided with no choice in the matter of their involvement in the arrangement, they are treated well and experience an improved life in comparison to those who are not in the relationship, and most importantly they are exploited for food. All the while the farmer maintains complete control over almost every aspect of the cattle’s life, from what it eats to where it sleeps, and sometimes when they feel like it they may name and dote on the cattle, even treat them like family. However, regardless of how well an ina might treat their symbionts, the humans are little more than food with a face.

    -Justin Wright


  5. I thought this passage was interesting because no matter how many times i feel like i can connect with Shori and her actions, or even the actions of some of the other characters in the story, I am reminded in passages such as this one, that there are also things that seperate it and make it seem less relatable. When Daniel talked about him and his brothers mating with her in a very nonchalant way, it almost makes me disconect with the characters. I do feel like this is a technique to remind the readers that it is a Syfy story and is trying to make a point that it is relatable because there are many parts that are realistic, but it can be seen as unrelatable at some points because its meant to be a little far fetched.


  6. I like this passage because it brings the conversation back to one of the core themes of this book, race. It shows that despite everything, all their differences, Daniel and other Ina can and should care about Shori and that the face that she is part human and has a darker skin tone than the rest of the Ina shouldn’t matter to anyone. It shows that what really matters is who a person is and that Shori is a much more likable person than any of the Silks.


  7. This passage made me realize how important the high levels of sexual attraction between the opposite genders of the Inas is because their reproduction rate is much lower than that of a human. Daniel and Shori smiling at each other is also a sign that the unmated Gordons and especially Daniel want to mate with Shori not only for her special genetic alterations and its benefits, but because they also love who she is as a person. Her likability is so important to the survival of this side of the Inas or else Shori would have some difficulty in finding a mate since all her sisters are dead. Daniel also says “and my brothers I will mate her” with a smile at the end, which also shows how he is accustomed to the lack of possessiveness with mating and this is also important since the women need plenty of mates due to the low reproduction rate.


  8. I like the passage you chose for a few reasons but the one that stands out to me is a motif of juxtaposing biology and humanity (or ‘Ina-nity’) in the novel. In this scenario, Shori says she can’t help but smile at the thought of being mated with by Daniel and his brothers. Throughout the novel, the significance of Shori’s presence seems to be two sided: biological (her genetically engineered advantage, her irresistible urges to feed and mate); and social (the resentment she receives for being different, the intimate ties she makes and struggles with.)

    I think in this passage we see a prototype for this concept, and my takeaway is that the author has taken racial, social, and romantic issues from our world and pushed them to the extreme through the lens of science fiction.

    What more perfect illustration of the chemical confusion of love that humans feel than uncontrollably smiling when told you’re promised to be mated with an entire kin of vampires? 🙂


  9. I also agree that this passage definitely gives the reader a view into Shori’s naturalistic Ina side. It’s interesting how seriously the Inas take being promised to one another. I also find it interesting that while people usually look down on arranged marriages, Shori seems excited for her arrangement to start. Her smile was involuntary and very natural, proving this natural excitement towards this arrangement.


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